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Commerce chronicles: Puma centralizes ecommerce strategy, GreyOrange announces $135 million Series D and Amazon dominates 2023 ecommerce sales

Jan 15, 2024 - Alyssa Wolfe
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This week’s wire featured how Puma’s new strategy unifies its ecommerce solutions. Plus, unsurprisingly, Amazon dominated ecommerce sales in 2023. A new AI shopping assistant is helping customers, while ecommerce grocery shopping is on the rise. Visit our blog every Monday for a roundup of the latest commerce news.

Puma is centralizing their ecommerce analysis and operations, unifying disparate ecommerce solutions

Based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, global athletic brand Puma distributes footwear, apparel and accessories to 120 countries. After managing its various ecommerce websites with multiple technologies, Puma sought to centralize, unifying site performance into a singular analytics portal to gain deeper, more comprehensive insights.

After using several third-party technologies across different markets, Puma’s team noted slow page loads and disparate data. After implementing a centralized analytics dashboard, their ecommerce team was able to better optimize site performance and drive greater customer engagement. They already see higher conversions and a 20% improvement in Core Web Vitals scores1.

Is grocery the future of ecommerce?

During BCFM 2023, ecommerce saw a record-setting 134.2 million online shoppers2. While online sales median growth for all categories was 11%, groceries saw the greatest surge, increasing 27% over 20223. Historically, apparel and accessories, computer and consumer electronics and home furnishings have led the US ecommerce market. Now, experts believe grocery will become one of the top four major ecommerce categories by 20264.

Growth has been fueled by online sales of food and beverage items, household supplies and personal care products. Inflation is believed to be the biggest driver to digital grocery sales growth. Other growth factors include multiple sales channels and a variety of fulfillment methods, including doorstep delivery, ship-to-home and curbside pickup. The forecast predicts growth through increased purchase volume, not price increases, as people seek to shop online for everyday items like consumables, cleaning products, pet food, food and beverage and other common grocery products.

Amazon accounted for 37.6% of all ecommerce sales in 2023

Global giant Amazon offers several services, including online stores, third-party seller services, Amazon Web Services, subscriptions, advertising services, physical stores and more. However, Ecommerce continues to account for 40% of their revenue, with third-party seller services coming in second at 24% of their revenue.

During their latest third quarter, Amazon generated $143.1 billion in total revenue5. They also accounted for 36.6% of all ecommerce sales in the US in 2023, beating out second-place Walmart, which came in at 6.3%. Ecommerce experts forecast continued growth in 2024 along with trends such as hybrid shopping, social commerce, livestream shopping and mobile commerce driving omnichannel commerce.

New AI shopping assistant helps ecommerce shoppers find items they’ll love

Constructor, a leading AI-powered product discovery and search platform announced its AI Shopping Assistant (ASA), an innovative conversation product discovery tool6. The tool aims to give online shoppers a way to discover items they need and love. The product is powered by transformers, blending generative AI and an AI-based personalized technology. The ASA also has the ability to optimize experiences using brands’ unique KPIs (key performance indicators).

ASA bases suggestions on detailed requests from shoppers. For example, “I want a red shirt good for a night out,” or “I need healthy foods that adhere to the Mediterranean diet.” ASA factors in shoppers’ information to date and acts as a trusted associate. Use cases span industries, including grocery, apparel and general retailers. Moreover, ASA is more than a chatbot. The virtual assistant uses intent-based natural language processing, intuitive interface and product discovery algorithms to surpass current AI assistant limitations.

GreyOrange announces $135 million Series D

The pandemic highlighted the need for fulfillment services as online shopping became a necessity. Ecommerce’s continued rise highlights the continued importance of the supply chain and fulfillment. Located in Roswell, Georgia, GreyOrange, a warehouse robotics company, recently announced $135 million growth financing Series D7, which will help its continued work towards building a full-stack solution for warehouse, fulfillment and 3PL needs.

GreyOrange’s solutions include AMRs (autonomous mobile robots), forklifts and bin systems for picking, coupled with its own first-party (“hardware-agnostic”) fleet management software. The company’s CEO, Akash Gupta, said that part of this round will go toward delivering systems to customers.